Netanyahu: Ethnic cleansing for peace is absurd. It’s about time somebody said it. I just did.

Prime Minister Netanyahu released a televised address in English addressing the Palestinian’s ongoing preconditions for the resumption of peace talks and a solution to peace. In his address, he bluntly and sternly described the Palestinian Authority’s demand for a state with no Jews to that of a call for ethnic cleansing.

Netanyahu pointed out the hypocrisy and dangers of such demands, referencing the diversity of Israeli society and over 2 million Arab-Israeli citizens.

Netanyahu’s address:

“I’m sure many of you have heard the claim that Jewish communities in Judea Samaria, the West Bank, are an obstacle to peace. I’ve always been perplexed by this notion. Because no one would seriously claim that the nearly two million Arabs living inside Israel that they’re an obstacle to peace. That’s because they aren’t. On the contrary! Israel’s diversity shows its openness and readiness for peace. Yet the Palestinian leadership actually demands a Palestinian state with one precondition: No Jews.

There’s a phrase for that- It’s called ethnic cleansing. And this demand is outrageous. It’s even more outrageous that the world doesn’t find this outrageous. Some otherwise enlightened countries even promote this outrage.

Ask yourself this: Would you accept ethnic cleansing in your state? A territory without Jews, without Hispanics, without blacks? Since when is bigotry a foundation for peace?

At this moment, Jewish school children in Judea/Samaria are playing in sandboxes with their friends. Does their presence make peace impossible? I don’t think so.

I think what makes peace impossible is intolerance of others. Societies that respect all people are the ones that pursue peace. Societies that demand ethnic cleansing don’t pursue peace.

I envision a Middle East where young Arabs and young Jews learn together, work together, live together side by side in peace. Our region needs more tolerance, not less.

So the next time you hear someone say Jews can’t live somewhere, let alone in their ancestral homeland, take a moment to think of the implications.

Ethnic cleansing for peace is absurd. It’s about time somebody said it. I just did.”

Netanyahu’s address comes during mixed media reports and confirmation from Russia for a meeting between Netanyahu and Abbas to take place in Moscow. Russia’s confirmation comes amidst Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas’s consistent demand for preconditions for resuming peace negotiations, despite Israel’s objection.

This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, September 9, 2016, and reposted with permission.